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Cognition Invests in Mistika Finishing Technology


LR-Mistika_Precision_AngleHollywood-based post house Cognition has purchased six Mistika systems from SGO. The package includes two 4K color grading and mastering systems, two assist workstations and two laptop systems for on-set and near-set use. The company has also acquired an SGO high-speed SAN. The installation is part of a multi-million dollar facility expansion that will include a pair of DCI grading theaters, expanded visual effects resources and creative production workspace.

Mistika is a color grading and finishing platform that supports a wide range of media formats and postproduction applications including high-frame-rate and 3D. The latest version of the system software includes tools for manipulating multilayer EXR sequences and expanded support for OpenEXR formats.

Cognition director of operations David Hollingsworth said that Mistika is an ideal choice for the facility. Hollingsworth is intimately familiar with Mistika technology having collaborated with SGO on the development of the system since 2011 when he was head of picture/senior colorist at Park Road Post Production in Wellington, New Zealand. Mistika was used at Park Road Post Production to finish the high-frame-rate epic movie The Hobbit trilogy directed by Peter Jackson.

“At Cognition our goal is to give our clients the greatest flexibility during the finishing process to produce the highest quality results,” said Hollingsworth. “Recent additions to Mistika software including fully translatable AAF functionality and fantastic new EXR tools prove that SGO is staying ahead of the curve”

Opening Night
Opening Night
Cognition recently used its Mistika workstations to grade and finish the independent feature Opening Night directed by Isaac Rentz. Final grading was performed by Cognition senior colorist Mike Eaves, working closely with Rentz and director of photography Andre Lascaris.

“Mistika allowed me to create different versions of the grade and made it very easy to keep them organized using the system’s grade history function and by creating different nodes for each pass,” Eaves said. “Mistika’s very robust FX toolset, which includes de-noise and grain FX functions, allowed me to integrate the look and feel of footage shot on different cameras with uniform consistency. The best thing about Mistika is that it allows me to concentrate on the creative without worrying about tools.”

Rentz called the DI work at Cognition a great experience. “The process was collaborative and fluid,” he noted. “That was true for straight color work as well as for more complex window work and de-noise and re-grain processing. Everything we asked for was easily achieved.”

Cognition’s Mistika systems will be integrated into its two new grading theaters, which will feature 4K Barco digital cinema projectors.

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